Clause 117

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 28th February 2008.

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Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 2:45 pm, 28th February 2008

Those who have been listening and who might have wondered why we did not talk about previous clauses may be reassured to know that in large part they repeat what was in previous legislation, but in respect of the transfer of functions.

The hon. Gentleman raises an important point about why we should worry about standards or requirements beyond ordinary health and safety law for those providers of education for 16 to 18-year-olds. There are important minimum regulatory standards that we should put in place beyond health and safety, particularly in respect of child welfare and child protection. This is a good opportunity to do so.

In placing a new duty on all young people to continue to participate in education or training until they are 18, it is right that we take the power to set standards to ensure that they are healthy, safe and supported wherever they choose to fulfil the duty that we discussed at such length under part 1. In many ways the provision is not a response to any specific evidence that there is a failure on the part of those providers. It is much more a consequence of raising the participation age through part 1. I hope, on that basis, that the Committee will support the clause.